I had read an article the other day about how our culture worships fashion, strives for perfection in appearance, and basis beauty on good looks. ( http://www.pfm.org/AM/Template.cfm?Section=BreakPoint1&Template=/CM/ContentDisplay.cfm&ContentID=16276 ) Essentially, it says that our culture has made it so that it's like "survival of the prettiest". In certain areas of business, a girl can easily get ahead if she looks good. This would suggest that all girls that don't meet the media's standards of beauty would be extremely insecure about their looks...surely, insecurity is reserved for the "less than attractive", right?
Well, my co-worker told me an anecdote, today, about the wife of a friend of his. As he put it, "She's one of the top five most beautiful girls I've ever seen in my life." (I've never met the woman, before, but I gather that she is extremely attractive. My co-worker said that she was "pretty shy in the brains, though". He proceded to tell me about a time when she and her husband were over at his house for a bonfire. He told her he was going to put the fire out. She asked how he was going to do that. He told her he was going to use the hose and cover it with water. She gave him a frightened look and exclaimed, "But won't that make it explode?!" He calmly clarified that she must be thinking of gasoline. She gave him an embarassed and frazzled look and begged him not to tell her husband...she even offered to pay him...she was so embarassed...so insecure.
Clearly, meeting the world's standards for beauty isn't enough...that woman probably thinks that if she were smarter or more articulate, she'd be happier...she'd be complete...she'd be perfect...just as other girls wish they were attractive like her.
So, how do we rid ourselves of our insecurities? How do we feel complete? How do we find wholeness? What do we need to do? What can we do?
The answer is simple...turn to Jesus...God can make us complete. It's been said that every man has a god-shaped void in their heart. We can pursue fashion, academics, money, hobbies, talents, whatever...but the only thing that will make us truly happy, truly complete...the only way we can fill that void is to pursue God with all of our hearts, minds, and souls. I'm not going to say that I don't struggle this...surely, if you've read my other posts, this has become evident. However, that story reminded me of that fact...I'm prone to wishing I were good-looking...but I need to remember that it won't really make me happy...all that time and energy is better spent on pursuing God. Yes, we can dream...we can wish...we can hope...that we were different, more beautiful, smarter, accomplished, rich, whatever. However, I believe that our culture has given us some poor advice on achieving our dreams. We're supposed to "make our dreams come true". Sure, we could do that...we could achieve whatever goal we've set for ourselves, but when we get there, will we really be happy? Our culture has told us to "Dream, believe, achieve". Well, I guess, that's closer to being right, but just because we believe that we can make our dreams come true, promoting a good attitude while pursuing our dreams, are we going to be happy? Are we going to feel better when we've achieved that dream that we believed in? I don't think so. I believe the real anwer, the thing that young people should be told is, "Don't pursue your dreams. Pursue God. He will bring you happiness beyond your most amazing dreams." He is the way to true happiness. I'm sure I've said that before, but I believe it to be true. Having faith in God and obeying His commands...that's the way we journey towards wholeness, perfection, happiness...that's the way we become more Christlike...
So, don't worry about achieving your dreams, don't worry about all those things that the world says you're not. Walk in faith and obedience. We are beautiful, and it's extremely smart, extremely wise to follow the Lord...God loves us so much and has promised to never leave us...
Praise be to God!